Forensic investigation isn't easy. Watching dramatized television crime shows and listening to crime podcasts makes the people who are interested in such information, myself amongst them, think that working in forensics would be a fascinating and enviable job...
But when Redditor u/CosmicLlama9908 asked forensic investigators about the most disturbing and horrific cases they've worked on, everyone quickly realized that the field is no joke.
Warning, the following are true stories shared by forensics specialists. They are NSFW, and may contain triggering topics.
20. "I took a police class and..."
"I took a police class and we were shown real pictures of crime scenes from our professor who was a philly detective. One of the most brutal ones we saw was this woman who got mauled by her boyfriends pit bulls in a basement. Her skin was ripped open and there was blood everywhere. Can't imagine the pain she was in, it was nuts."
19. "They rushed him to the hospital..."
"My uncle is a retired Chicago cop. One day, he had a case where a little 5 or 6 year old kid had been offered a small ziplock bag of about 2 grams of crack. The kid must have thought the crack was sugar because when the kid the next morning, the bag was covered in Batman stickers, about 1 gram of the crack was gone, and the parents realized he wasn't breathing. They rushed him to the hospital where the doctor told them that their son died of an overdose."
18. "The only reason the car was investigated..."
"My father worked at our local airport. A girl had decided to commit suicide in the long term parking lot there. She laid down in the trunk and covered herself in whatever was back there after taking an overdose of medication.
She wasn't found for roughly 3 1/2 months. The only reason the car was investigated was because several people complained of an over powering caustic smell. This was mid June or July. Dad said when they popped the lock on the door a cloud of black flies could be seen exiting the vehicle even on the security tape.
When EMTs came to remove what was left of her a few vomited. She was described to me as a gelatinous mass of purple and green. A scraper has to be used to get all the remains."
17. "He always said the worst were..."
"My father was a firefighter for over 30 years and had to investigate causes for some fires.
He always said the worst were the two or three people a year who would smoke while using the nasal oxygen things. It was almost always compounded by them being on a mattress.
He responded to one where the spouse reached in to try and pull them off the bed by the arm but the skin just slid off.
Also apparently the smell of burnt flesh never leaves you."
16. "He came back to her home..."
"I work helping victims of violent crime. I have been doing this on a volunteer and professional basis in various capacities and locations for about ten years now. I have three cases that have given me what we call secondary trauma more than any others...
A woman went on a first date. He came back to her home with a gun and held her and her children hostage for three months. The physical and psychological trauma done to them was the worst I've ever seen."
15. "Where they send the criminally insane..."
"I worked in forensic units, essentially where they send the criminally insane, I didn't see any bodies but worked with the people that created them.
One person was getting a divorce, one parent was using the others mental health (depression, but well managed, worked full time) to gain full custody and they could afford the better lawyer. They drowned all four of their kids at bath time in a psychotic break."
14. "The worst one she told about..."
"My mom was a state police forensic scientist and did the DNA for all sorts of horrific cases. Aside from the countless pedophiles and incest rapes, I think the worst one she told me about was a girl who gave birth in her bedroom, hid the baby in a box under the bed, and her dog proceeded to eat the baby. She didn't tell her parents she was pregnant because they were very religious and she was underage."
13. "A guy embezzled money and got busted for it..."
"We had one where a guy embezzled money from his bank and got busted for it. He tried to kill his family with carbon monoxide from the van but it didnt work. He finally takes a baseball bat and kills his wife and 4 kids, leaves a call to 911, then drives into a bridge support which kills him and lights his van on fire."
12. "This story made national news..."
"I'm not an investigator, but my aunt is a detective for our local police force. This story made national news, but she worked on a case where a mother and her boyfriend were abusing their young daughter. They sexually abused her and would inject her with drugs to put her in a comatose state when she would fight back.
Eventually the mother's boyfriend raped and killed her with the mother's permission and they tried to hide the body by burning it in their bath tub. My aunt has been in the force for over 20 years and she said she's never seen true evil until she interrogated the mother after they were inevitably caught."
11. "When I got there, the remains were..."
"I remember when I was a grad student I was called by my supervisor to help consult on some human skeletal remains that had been discovered on a farm. When I got there the remains were of a child who had been hacked apart with an axe and had teeth impressions from a dog. May not sound terrible, I love my job, but children are for me the hardest to work on."
10. "He was reported to be seen on the ground..."
"15 year old decided to commit suicide on the freeway. It's still not 100% clear if he jumped off the overpass first, but he was reported to be seen on the ground on the freeway by the first person who called it in...who was also the 3rd car to hit him in a matter of minutes."
9. "He asks where the baby is..."
"EMT. Get dispatched for vaginal bleeding. Arrive at the home to find a woman sitting in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. Transport her to the hospital where the doc examines her. He asks where the baby is. What? He states this woman just had a baby. So they go back to the home with police and search the place. My coworker looks under the bed and sees a bowling ball bag. Opens the bag and finds the dead baby."
8. "I'm an expert in work related incidents..."
"I'm an expert in work related incidents, and am hired to investigate accidents and incidents for large cooperations.
Two children fell down an elevator shaft on a building project.
Employee of manufacturer in the Pharmaceutical industry got his arm ripped off by a powder centrifuge.
Retired person was fatally hit by the coupling of a compressed air-hose after the hose broke."
7. "Started 'speaking to god'..."
"I do fire investigation and one that stuck with me was a likely mentally disturbed girl started 'speaking to god' at the dinner table and then that night lit her room on fire with her in it. I think about that one a lot"
6. "The worst part was..."
"Gotta be the guy that stabbed his newborn and 4 year old before slitting his throat and jabbing the knife into his chest. The worst part was his phone on the bed with numerous texts from his fiancee and mom begging him to not harm the children."
5. "That's up there for me..."
"A man decapitated his infant son with a samurai sword while high on PCP.
That's up there for me."
4. "Frantic scratch marks indicated they regretted the action..."
"Client committed suicide by connecting zip ties around neck and pulling. Frantic scratch marks indicated they regretted the action but could not cut the zip ties due to sharps restriction. Sharps restriction enforced due to recent morbid self mutilation.
Claw marks on neck and lack of oxygen to the brain was the saddest ive ever seen. The inability to say the individual died on their own terms is often the only bright side to any type of suicide i deal with."
3. "He was feeding her rocks..."
"Had a paranoid schizophrenic male who forced his elderly mother to eat rocks to the point where she died. He told Police that he was feeding her rocks to weigh her down so God couldn't take her yet."
2. "Cooked him like a stew..."
"A mildly over weight man had a heart attack and died on his waterbed, it broke and the sun heated the water (this is Arizona by the way) and cooked him like a stew"
1. "It turned into a homicide..."
"Children's Protective Services worker here. We do forensic interviewing during our investigation so I'm counting myself in. I watched the autopsy of a two month old infant with suspected CoD of asphyxiation from regurgitating too much milk from being overfed. Turned into a homicide as they peeled back the infant's scalp to reveal a massive skull fracture and brain bleed from sharp blunt force trauma..."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/